Posts Tagged ‘special event insurance’

New Technology Enhances Event Security

Game Changers

We all know about game changers. Sometimes it’s a certain player, a momentum swing, the venue or fans, and other times it’s an event that makes us stop and rethink our views on one particular topic or another. The bombings at this year’s Boston Marathon qualify as a game changer.

It’s often a catastrophe that makes us re-evaluate our priorities. In the case of the Boston Bombings, we have been forced to address our personal safety and the safety of participants at sporting events.

Increasing event security

In attempts to strengthen event security at its football games, the NFL recently banned spectators from bringing in purses, coolers, backpacks and other miscellany. Some view this as overkill, while others view it as the natural evolution in the continual ramp up of security measures in a volatile setting.

The tech revolution

The technology boom is also helping to strengthen event security. While closed-circuit television is still the industry’s main method, it is the use of cellphones that has been most beneficial in enforcing safety regulations at sporting events, and not just among event staff. Many venues advertise a number for spectators to text or call if other patrons become unruly or are acting suspicious. And did you know there are apps available for reporting security issues? Fans may now anonymously submit complaints/observations using ISS 24/7 (or other) software. Game changer!

In addition to security hotlines, social media has helped to police patrons at sporting events. People love Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Many sports teams and event management companies have learned to use these tools to their advantage. They post on their accounts to spread the word of inclement weather, evacuation notices and other pertinent information.

Smartphones are good for more than just checking your Twitter feed. They are also important in documenting fan behavior at games, both good and bad.  In a world where anyone can be famous on the Internet, staying on your best behavior can mean the difference between YouTube fame and infamy.

Source: Kelly Martin,  “Safety and Security: Changing your game for the better,” Sports Destination Management. Sept./Oct. 2013.

Aftermath of the Boston Attack

Looking at the impact on Sports Event Insurance

The Boston Marathon terrorist attack has sent shock waves through the sports event insurance industry, creating uncertainty about whether certain event coverages will be offered and at what limits. At a minimum, terrorism premiums for high-risk events are expected to skyrocket.

After the 9/11 terrorist attack, underwriters responded with enhanced risk management for arenas and stadiums. However, closed venues are much easier to secure than open events such as a marathon that has a 26.2 mile course.

The 9/11 attacks also resulted in private insurance carriers excluding terrorism coverage under General Liability policies, which was picked up by the federal government for a buyback of less than 5% of private insurance premiums in most cases. After 9/11, the terrorism coverage buyback was typically only purchased by larger event promoters in major population centers. However, the Boston attack has given rise to speculation that the terrorism buyback will become much more expensive and many smaller event promoters outside of the major population centers will be interested in its purchase.

The next question is what type of liability event promoters and organizers have in the first place to prevent terrorist attacks. At first glance, event security against terrorist attacks would primarily be a matter for law enforcement. However, event promoters and organizers can have liability for not implementing risk management controls and coordinating with law enforcement. The industry will undoubtedly respond with enhanced risk management requirements based on the lessons learned from the Boston attack.

Source:  “Boston Attack Leads Sports-Event Insurers To Reassess Business,” bloomberg.com. Aaron Kuriloff and Mason Levinson.  April 17, 2013.